KEPCO-Uhde, global front-runner in gasification

Gasification is an ever growing market due to the depleting resources of oil and natural gas. The International Energy Agency (IEA) stated that the future prospect of electricity production via gasification or IGCC is promising. While diligent moves are being made domestically to prepare for the related markets, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and Germany-based ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions (Former, Uhde) have established KEPCO-Uhde, a joint venture, in July 2011, laying down the foundation to advance into the global gasification market.

The business activities of KEPCO-Uhde are mainly divided into the gasification business development, the global licensing and the Basic Engineering Package (BEP) on the basis of the commercial-grade original gasification technology. The scope of business includes IGCC, Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) and polygeneration where hydrogen, fertilizer and liquid fuels can be produced simultaneously.

The gasification technology of the company is one of the most advanced as of now, offering the largest level of gasifier unit capacity and the highest level of efficiency across the world. The joint venture partner ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions has built more than 100 gasifiers so far and boasts chemical plant EPC experience from more than 2,000 projects, so that KEPCO-Uhde is viewed as a gasification company capable of handling a whole range of processes from feedstock to final product. Also the technology is less restricted to the moisture and ash content in feedstock than competitors', and a wide range of coal qualities from low to high could be accommodated, which is a notable advantage. Currently, together with KEPCO, the company is targeting to win a couple of domestic and overseas projects, and has formulated the "KEPCO Fleet for Coal Gasification" to achieve the goal, and a joint R&D is progressing with an aim to develop a Korean style standard model for commercial-grade CCS-linked integrated gasification plant by 2020. The KEPCO Fleet is able to provide one-stop package of services tailored for the needs of clients including not only the gasification block but also the business model for an entire plant, EPC, and O&M. The gasification technology of KEPCO-Uhde is raising expectations as it can serve the national interests by locally producing synthetic natural gas (SNG) at the price 20% or more cheaper than LNG which is fully imported as a finished product.

Jaeun Chun, Business Head of KEPCO-Uhde, said, "Currently, in cooperation with KEPCO, we are working on several projects of home and abroad.” He also mentioned, "The establishment of an Indonesian local company by this year is planned to produce 1.05 million t/y SNG with three units of KEPCO-Uhde gasifiers based on low rank coal from the Indonesian coal mine where KEPCO made an investment.”"

Reported by Seung-hyun Yang (